UNDERSTANDING —ACCEPTANCE: COMPASSION
The development of the disorders can destroy our lives. We can live with the power of the disorder for many years and no matter what we do, we feel completely powerless.
Recovery for many of us who have had panic disorder means we still can experience an occasional attack. The difference between panic disorder and recovery means we have taken the power back and are no longer afraid of the attack or anxiety. We have shifted the power balance. There are no more ‘what ifs’, but instead we have developed an attitude of ‘so what’, irrespective of how violent the occasional attack may feel. ‘So what’, means we have taken back the power.
A major obstacle to taking back the power is the lack of compassion we have for ourselves. Compassion in this instance is the acknowledgement, and the capacity to fully feel the pain of our own suffering without mentally abusing ourselves, ‘I am hopeless, stupid, worthless etc’ and without the brutal self-hatred many of us feel.
In the early stages of the disorders many of us say, ‘This is not me, I am not like this’, and in doing so we negate and invalidate our own suffering and pain. Most of us cannot see, let alone acknowledge or appreciate our own strength and courage, which has bought us thus far. Taking back the power means learning to be compassionate toward ourselves. Only then can we begin to take back the power from the disorders.
Compassion for ourselves, combined with understanding is the first step. It is important we understand what is happening to us and why it is happening. When we understand and accept that understanding, we can begin to work towards recovery.
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